New Gift Tax Rates in Flanders

Flanders is introducing new tax rates for the donation of real property. The old rates are on the left, the new rates are on the right. Real property Gift tax on real property is calculated on the value of the donation 1 Direct line, spouses, registered partners   on the band between Rate on the band between Rate €0 –    €12 500   3%   …

Tax Haven Flanders

La DerniĂšre Heure has discovered a tax haven next door : Flanders. The occasion is that since 1 July, the gift tax on houses and apartments has been cut.  The French-language newspaper La DH made a list of the tax differences between the three regions. Officallly Brussels, Wallonia and Flanders are not supposed to compete with each other by imposing lower taxes, there are quite a few …

European Commission refers Belgian to European Court of Justice

On 18 June 2015 the European Commission announced that it is referring Belgium to the Court of Justice of the European Union because it taxes Belgian residents differently on property abroad and at home. If a Belgian resident earns income from property located abroad, that is taxed at a higher value than that from comparable property in Belgium. The Commission does not criticize the way Belgium assesses …

mypension.be for self employed

mypension.be is the pension portal where Belgian residents can obtain information about their entitlement to a The website has existed since 2010, but to this date only employees could access their pension file on line . From now on self-employed can review their pension career and pension contributions during their working career, apply for retirement and send and receive emails from the National Pensions Office. In the …

About shifty tax shifts

The buzz word in Belgian politics these days is ‘tax shift’. Forget about reducing taxes or cutting expenditure, the tax burden is to be shifted. The question is how and where. For many years, AmCham Belgium has been lobbying the government to reduce employment costs. As Eurostat’s figures show, Belgium has the highest labor cost within the eurozone, and within the EU, Belgium comes second after …

Report your overseas bank accounts online

Since today you can declare your overseas bank accounts online with the Central Point of Contact National Bank of Belgium. Why? Belgium has banking secrecy rules that prevented the tax administration from asking banks for information about Belgian taxpayers. In 2011, Parliament made it easier for the taxman to set these rules aside in certain situations (see below, What is left of the banking secrecy?) However, …

Belgium publishes draft FATCA Guidelines

On 4 May 2015, the Belgian tax administration released a draft of its FATCA guidelines on its e-services web page (http://financien.belgium.be/nl/E-services/fatca). FATCA or Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act is US legislation that targets global tax evasion by US citizens. FATCA requires financial institutions outside the United States to send certain information about their clients who are US citizens, to the US tax authorities, the IRS. On 23 …

Tax Havens : the top 10

Bradley Hackford, a firm specialising in international relocation, has published its 2015 ranking of the 10 top tax havens.  The ranking is based on five criteria: the rate of tax burden on the natural persons residing in that country ; the country’s quality of life ; the country’s physical and legal security ; the quality of the economic investment programme developed by the local government …

Taxman Announces Tax Traps

This year, once again, the tax authorities have listed the taxpayers they will target. They like to compare it to announced speed traps. They hope that if you know you are targeted, you will be more careful when completing your tax return for last year. When do you need to pay attention? If you are a company director Just like employees, company directors can opt …

New form 276 Div.-Aut (for withholding tax)

The tax authorities have released a new version of the form to claim back withholding tax paid by a Belgian company or bank. The form is called 276 Div.- Aut and it comes with an explanatory note. The main change is the statute of limitation as described in the explanatory note.  Tax must be claimed within five years from 1 January of the year in which the tax was withheld. That …